AP NEWS

Oklahoma lawmaker wants to stop commissioners from lobbying

February 9, 2019

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — An Oklahoma County commissioner who is also a lobbyist raises ethics questions, according to a state lawmaker.

The Oklahoman reports that Rep. Jason Dunnington, D-Oklahoma City, plans to work to amend state ethics rules to make county officials subject to a state lobbying ban.

Oklahoma County Commissioner Kevin Calvey, a former Republican state lawmaker, is also a registered lobbyist for the anti-abortion group Oklahomans For Life Inc., according to the state Ethics Commission. Ashley Kemp, executive director of the commission, said guidelines prohibit state officers or employees from registering as lobbyists but that the rules do not cover county officers.

“So there is not an ethics rule that would prevent a county commissioner from registering as a lobbyist,” Kemp said.

The publication NonDoc was the first to report Calvey’s two jobs.

Dunnington said he saw Calvey at the Capitol earlier this week and assumed he was advocating for county issues.

“He told me he had another gig, and I was like, ‘Another gig?’” Dunnington said.

Dunnington said he will work to amend ethics guidelines to ban county officials from registering as lobbyists.

In a text message to The Associated Press, Calvey said he is being attacked because of his anti-abortion activism and is “proud and honored” to represent Oklahomans for Life.

Calvey did not address potential ethical conflicts.

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Information from: The Oklahoman, http://www.newsok.com

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